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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 3699

3rd Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 3rd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; authorizing use of certain ballots; providing for discretionary
partial recounts; specifying certain procedures; changing certain voting system
requirements; transferring certain funds; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006,
sections 203B.227, as added; 204C.35, subdivisions 1, 2; 204C.36, subdivision
2; 206.57, by adding subdivisions; 206.89, subdivision 2; Minnesota Statutes
2007 Supplement, section 206.57, subdivision 5; Laws 2007, chapter 148, article
1, section 7.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 203B.227, as added by Laws 2008, chapter
190, section 9, is amended to read:


203B.227 WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT.

deleted text begin An eligibledeleted text endnew text begin Anew text end voter deleted text beginwho will be outside the territorial limits of the United States
during the 180 days prior to the state general election
deleted text endnew text begin described in section 203B.16,
subdivision 1,
new text end may use a state write-in absentee ballot new text beginor the federal write-in absentee
ballot
new text endto vote in any federal, state, or local election. In a state or local election, a vote for a
political party without specifying the name of a candidate must not be counted.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for elections held after June 1, 2008.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 204C.35, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Automatic recounts.

(a) In a state primary when the difference
between the votes cast for the candidates for nomination to a statewide federal office,
state constitutional office, statewide judicial office, congressional office, state legislative
office, or district judicial office:

(1) is less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes counted for
that nomination; or

(2) is ten votes or less and the total number of votes cast for the nomination is 400
votes or less;

and the difference determines the nomination, the canvassing board with responsibility for
declaring the results for that office shallnew text begin manuallynew text end recount the vote.

(b) In a state general election when the difference between the votes of a candidate
who would otherwise be declared elected to a statewide federal office, state constitutional
office, statewide judicial office, congressional office, state legislative office, or district
judicial office and the votes of any other candidate for that office:

(1) is less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes counted for
that office; or

(2) is ten votes or less if the total number of votes cast for the office is 400 votes or
less,

the canvassing board shallnew text begin manuallynew text end recount the votes.

(c) A recount must not delay any other part of the canvass. The results of the recount
must be certified by the canvassing board as soon as possible.

(d) Time for notice of a contest for an office which is recounted pursuant to this
section shall begin to run upon certification of the results of the recount by the canvassing
board.

(e) A losing candidate may waive a recount required pursuant to this section by
filing a written notice of waiver with the canvassing board.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 204C.35, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

deleted text beginOptionaldeleted text endnew text begin Discretionary candidatenew text end recount.

(a) A losing candidatenew text begin whose
name was on the ballot
new text end for nomination or election to a statewide federal office, state
constitutional office, statewide judicial office, congressional office, state legislative office,
or district judicial office may request a recount in a manner provided in this section at the
candidate's own expense when the vote difference is greater than the difference required
by this section. The votes shall benew text begin manuallynew text end recounted as provided in this section if the
candidate files a request during the time for filing notice of contest of the primary or
election for which a recount is sought.

(b) The requesting candidate shall file with the filing officer a bond, cash, or surety
in an amount set by the filing officer for the payment of the recount expenses. The
requesting candidate is responsible for the following expenses: the compensation of the
secretary of state, or designees, and any election judge, municipal clerk, county auditor,
administrator, or other personnel who participate in the recount; the costs of computer
operation, preparation of ballot counting equipment, necessary supplies and travel
related to the recount; the compensation of the appropriate canvassing board and costs of
preparing for the canvass of recount results; and any attorney fees incurred in connection
with the recount by the governing body responsible for the recount.

new text begin (c) The requesting candidate may provide the filing officer with a list of up to three
precincts that are to be recounted first and may waive the balance of the recount after these
precincts have been counted. If the candidate provides a list, the recount official must
determine the expenses for those precincts in the manner provided by paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (d) If the winner of the race is changed by the optional recount, the cost of the
recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.
new text end

new text begin (e) If a result of the vote counting in the manual recount is different from the result
of the vote counting reported on election day by a margin greater than the standard for
acceptable performance of voting systems provided in section 206.89, subdivision 4, the
cost of the recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 204C.36, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Discretionary candidate recounts.

new text begin(a) new text endA losing candidate for nomination
or election to a county, municipal, or school district office may request a recount in the
manner provided in this section at the candidate's own expense when the vote difference is
greater than the difference required by subdivision 1, clauses (a) to (e). The votes shall
benew text begin manuallynew text end recounted as provided in this section if the requesting candidate files with
the county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district clerk a bond, cash, or surety in an
amount set by the governing body of the jurisdiction or the school board of the school
district for the payment of the recount expenses.

new text begin (b) The requesting candidate may provide the filing officer with a list of up to three
precincts that are to be recounted first and may waive the balance of the recount after these
precincts have been counted. If the candidate provides a list the recount official must
determine the expenses for those precincts in the manner provided by paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (c) If the winner of the race is changed by the optional recount, the cost of the
recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.
new text end

new text begin (d) If a result of the vote counting in the manual recount is different from the result
of the vote counting reported on election day by a margin greater than the standard for
acceptable performance of voting systems provided in section 206.89, subdivision 4, the
cost of the recount must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the recount.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 206.57, subdivision 5, is
amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Voting system for disabled voters.

In federal and state elections held after
December 31, 2005; in county, city, and school district elections held after December
31, 2007; andnew text begin, except as provided in subdivision 5a,new text end in township elections held after
December 31, 2009, the voting method used in each polling place must include a voting
system that is accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility
for the blind and visually impaired in a manner that provides the same opportunity for
access and participation, including privacy and independence, as for other voters.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 206.57, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 5a. new text end

new text begin Limited town exemptions. new text end

new text begin (a) A town conducting an election not held
in conjunction with any federal, state, county, or school district election is exempt from
the requirements of subdivision 5 if the town has fewer than 500 registered voters, as
determined by the secretary of state by June 1 of each year.
new text end

new text begin (b) A town that would otherwise satisfy the requirements of this subdivision is
still required to comply with subdivision 5 at its next general town election if the voters
at the preceding year's annual town meeting instruct the town to conduct elections in
compliance with subdivision 5.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the secretary of state, after consultation with the Minnesota Association of
Townships, county auditors, or other interested parties, determines that a town's share
of the cost of compliance with subdivision 5 will not exceed $150 for an election, the
town may not use the exemption under paragraph (a) and shall conduct elections under
subdivision 5. In determining the town's cost of compliance, the secretary shall include
any expense associated with programming, ballot preparation and printing, and the
equipment costs directly related to compliance with subdivision 5.
new text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 206.57, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 5b. new text end

new text begin Township voting equipment study. new text end

new text begin (a) Beginning in 2009 and at least
once every other year until 2016, the secretary of state shall consult with interested parties,
including, but not limited to, members of the legislature, town officers, county election
officials, the National Federation of the Blind, the Minnesota State Council on Disability,
and the Disability Law Center regarding:
new text end

new text begin (1) options for full compliance with Minnesota Statutes, section 206.57, subdivision
5; and
new text end

new text begin (2) ongoing costs of compliance with Minnesota Statutes, section 206.57,
subdivision 5, and methods of reducing those costs.
new text end

new text begin (b) Beginning January 15, 2010, and until January 15, 2017, the secretary of state
shall report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees
and divisions with jurisdiction over elections policy and finance regarding the findings,
discussions, and developments under paragraph (a).
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 206.89, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Selection for review; notice.

At the canvass of the state primary, the
county canvassing board in each county must set the date, time, and place for the
postelection review of the state general election to be held under this section.

At the canvass of the state general election, the county canvassing boards must select
the precincts to be reviewednew text begin by lotnew text end. The county canvassing board of a county with fewer
than 50,000 registered voters mustnew text begin conduct a postelection review of a total ofnew text end deleted text beginselectdeleted text end at
least two precincts deleted text beginfor postelection reviewdeleted text end. The county canvassing board of a county with
between 50,000 and 100,000 registered voters mustnew text begin conduct a review of a total of new text end deleted text beginselectdeleted text end
at least three precincts deleted text beginfor reviewdeleted text end. The county canvassing board of a county with over
100,000 registered voters mustnew text begin conduct a review of a total ofnew text end deleted text beginselectdeleted text end at least four precinctsnew text begin,
or three percent of the total number of precincts in the county, whichever is greater
new text end. deleted text beginThe
precincts must be selected by lot at a public meeting.
deleted text end At least one precinct selected in each
county must have had more than 150 votes cast at the general election.

The county auditor must notify the secretary of state of the precincts that have been
chosen for review and the time and place the postelection review for that county will be
conducted, as soon as the decisions are made. new text beginIf the selection of precincts has not resulted
in the selection of at least four precincts in each congressional district, the secretary of state
may require counties to select by lot additional precincts to meet the congressional district
requirement.
new text end The secretary of state must post this information on the office Web site.

Sec. 9.

Laws 2007, chapter 148, article 1, section 7, is amended to read:


Sec. 7. SECRETARY OF STATE

$
9,019,000
$
6,497,000
Appropriations by Fund
2008
2009
General
6,175,000
6,497,000
Special Revenue
2,844,000

(a) $310,000 of this appropriation must be
transferred to the Help America Vote Act
account and is designated as a portion of the
match required by section 253(b)(5) of the
Help America Vote Act.

(b) $2,844,000 the first year is appropriated
from the Help America Vote Act account for
the purposes and uses authorized by federal
law. This appropriation is available until
June 30, 2009.

(c) Notwithstanding Laws 2005, chapter
162, section 34, subdivision 7, any balance
remaining in the Help America Vote Act
account after previous appropriations and the
appropriations in this section is appropriated
to the secretary of state for the purposes of
the account. This appropriation is available
until June 30, 2011.

new text begin (d) The amount necessary to meet federal
requirements for interest payments and the
additional match for the Help America Vote
Act account is transferred from the general
fund appropriation to the Help America Vote
Act account.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end